BBS Workshop for Agents

BBS Workshop for Agents

What is the British Boarding Schools Workshop?

The British Boarding Schools Workshop has a well-earned reputation for being the most successful way for educational consultants/agents and representatives from British boarding schools to meet face-to-face with the purpose of discussing the placements of international pupils.

Over two days, consultants and schools have 28 pre-booked 20-minute appointments to introduce themselves, with a view to developing long-term partnerships – ultimately to place international students, for which commission is payable by the schools.

Why should you attend the Workshop?


The event is attended by independent (those which charge fees) British boarding schools, plus a small number of international study centres, summer schools, sixth form colleges and guardianship companies, whose representatives are actively seeking to meet with top quality overseas agents. It is the only event that enables agents to meet collectively with over 80 British boarding schools.

If you already work with British boarding schools, the event is a good opportunity to strengthen your partnerships, update your knowledge about the schools, meet new staff, discuss the placement of current applicants, and to find out about new developments and facilities.

One of the biggest challenges that UK school staff face is the development of overseas links with reputable agents. This event has been established to help schools make international contacts which are vital to the recruitment of international students.


The British Boarding Schools Workshop was first held in Richmond, London in April 2006 and was very well received by agents and schools alike. The excellent reputation of the BBS Workshop as a quality, targeted event has spread rapidly and it is now a well-established event in the sector's calendar, with two Workshops held per year in March and November. It is now held at the Radisson Blu Edwardian Heathrow at London's Heathrow International Airport.

At each Workshop there are approximately 90 free places for agent delegates and we recommend that agents register early. You will need to provide a detailed company profile and three referees, which ideally should be British boarding schools or language schools and/or universities with whom you have established partnerships.

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"This was the most useful workshop I have ever attended. It was focused and the quality of the schools was better than I had imagined."

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Which agents are invited?

Do you work with British Boarding Schools? We invite agents who already work with British boarding schools, who are established in the market and know the British education system. The reason for this is simple: so that the schools who are paying to take part will have a high success rate in recruiting international students and achieve a good return on their investment.

The success of the event will depend on bringing together a good match of agents and schools. We are therefore committed to ensuring we have high quality agents attending the Workshop and we are looking for agents who are knowledgeable of the UK boarding schools' market and committed to recruiting students for British schools.

Are you new to working with British Boarding Schools? 

We are happy to receive registrations from agents who are actively seeking to establish themselves in the British boarding schools' market, especially if they are in new or developing markets such as parts of Europe or South America. We ask these agents to provide details of their company history, marketing plans/activities and references from three educational establishments with which they have worked, such as language schools or universities. The more detailed information an agent can provide about their company, the better, as this speeds up the application process.

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The application process

Upon receiving your application form we will take up references, if you are not already a member of BBS Connected. Assuming the information you have provided and the references are satisfactory, we will offer you a place. In some circumstances, where we receive a lot of registration forms from agents in one country, it will not be possible to offer all agents a place on the forthcoming Workshop, but we will inform them about dates for future Workshops.

There are residential places for approximately 90 agents at each Workshop and our aim is to select a small number of agents from a diverse range of countries.

We reserve the right to offer UK-based agents non-residential places (i.e. attend on a daily basis), depending on their proximity to the venue, since participating schools aim to see agents they would otherwise have to travel overseas to meet.

Once we have processed your application we will confirm whether or not a place is available for you. We therefore advise you NOT to book flight tickets until you receive confirmation of acceptance.

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Which countries are represented?

  • Albania
  • Armenia
  • Austria
  • Azerbaijan
  • Bahrain
  • Belarus
  • Belgium
  • Bermuda
  • Brazil
  • Bulgaria
  • Caribbean Islands
  • China
  • Croatia
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Estonia
  • France
  • Georgia
  • Germany
  • Ghana
  • Greece
  • Hong Kong
  • Hungary
  • India
  • Iran
  • Italy
  • Ireland
  • Japan
  • Jordan
  • Kazakhstan
  • Korea (South)
  • Kuwait
  • Kyrgystan
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Macau
  • Malaysia
  • Macedonia
  • Mexico
  • Moldova
  • Montenegro
  • Netherlands
  • Nigeria
  • Oman
  • Poland
  • Qatar
  • Romania
  • Russia
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Serbia
  • Singapore
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Switzerland
  • Taiwan
  • Tajikistan
  • Thailand
  • Turkey
  • Turkmenistan
  • UAE
  • UK
  • Ukraine
  • USA
  • Uzbekistan
  • Vietnam

Etherton Education has run academic summer courses in British Boarding Schools for 15 years. The Directors are Peter and Anne Etherton. Both have been involved in teaching English to overseas students for over 40 years, and have strong links with Hong Kong and China; they both taught at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Peter Etherton is the author of over 100 textbooks, including Oxford English. He is also a former British Council ELT Specialist and IELTS Examiner. Anne Etherton has wide teaching and administration experience, and is a former Principal of an International Study Centre.

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Workshop packages

Agency package for long-distance agents

Agency attendance for long-distance agents requiring accommodation

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Agency package for local agents

Agency attendance for those not requiring accommodation

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FAM trips

Fam trips

In addition to attending the BBSW, agents have an opportunity to visit schools after the event. The familiarisation trips (or fam trips as they are known) are valued by the agents as they add to the value of the meetings at the Workshop and give them an opportunity to see the schools first-hand.

More about FAM trips